Thursday, 23 December 2010

Merry Christmas

As I am not a card sending I thought I would wish all of my blogging friends a very Merry Christmas and a "challenging" 2011.
May we all stay friends through the harsh times of rod wars, that are so close......
All the best to you all and your families over the festive period.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

New rod gives a good account of itself!

After selling my old Diawa Tommy Pickering float on a well known site...I decided to treat myself to a new float rod. Looking at the reviews on line and speaking to a few anglers. I eventually settled on the new Preston Excel 13ft Float rod.

Once I had bought it I had to give it a go so I teamed it up with my faithful closed face reel and set up a Drennan Antenna Waggler which will enable me to both fish at the tip but also punch out if I need to, whilst not losing sensitivity. I bulked the shot at the connector and out just two dropper shot size 9 down the line, with the aim to present a single caster on a size 20, with a hooklink of 2lb.

I arrived at the Avon Hoe pools and got myself comfortable (broken foot) as the early morning sun steamed off the lake. Feeding sparingly bought some instant results with roach taking the caster straight away, fish up to 1lb were netted steadily for the first hour or so.... then the float dipped and then buried. On the strike I knew this was no roach...After a fight which lasted about 10 mins I netted a beautiful 16lb 4 oz mirror carp.
This proved that I have made a good choice in purchasing this rod, as the tip action dealt nicely with the roach and rudd, whilst he through action came into play when fighting the carp, proving its worth as it cushioned the hard running and prevented the 2lb link for breaking off.

I have been out again since and would really recommend this rod to anyone. Landing all types of fish in this session with two carp one of 12lb 7oz and the other of 14lb 8oz, 4 tench up to 6lb 2oz, 5 bream around 4 lb, a chub of 3lb 7oz and loads of silvers..... all on single caster or the bread punch, with a 2lb hooklink!

Tight Lines Andy

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Little Zeds from the Cut

After having fished my local stretch of canal on a couple of occasions with no joy, I have at last bagged a few small Zander from the cut. Interestingly they are all very small in fact all under 2 pounds so I suspect that this stretch might well have been electro'd in the the past. Smallest being "hand-sized".

After missing lots of fish on a light float set up I have settled now on fishing a running link with very small bobbins and alarms. On the canal this allows for good bait placement with the tow going backwards and forwards constantly.

I have also netted some crayfish, ruffe and perch, which again interests me as all predatory species.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Bearded Barney Rubble from the Avon

After a midweek chat with Dan we decided to meet on the Avon for an early session on Sunday...if fact we over estimated the time of first light by about an hour.

We had a conversation whilst waiting for the sun to rise about the different approaches that we aimed to employ for the morning. I had decided to try a new rig that was focused around making a "barbel bomb" which included moulding a stiff halibut mix around my gripper lead with the long fluro hook link of around 3 ft included (much like a method feeder). I had also decided to change my hook bait to the Sonu baits ellipse shape pellets superglued together onto the hair. Another slight change that I made was to use a metre of lead core prior to the quick link swivel and bead which allow the lead to run but would not damage the line whilst also ensuring the line was nailed down to the river bed and perhaps assisting with any snags that I may encounter!
Dan was that excited about my chance that he sat with me for the first 10 minutes as he was anticipating some immediate action, but unfortunately this did not appear. So Dan set up 50m downstream to begin his barbel attack.

After about 25 mins though some action did arrive with my tip bending round and the baitrunner rolling off line. After a short fight it was clear to me that this was not my targeted quarry pulling my line, but a nice sized chub of around 4 1/2 lb.

Fin perfect chub.

During the fight I noticed that my drag system on my baitrunner was not working effectively, in fact not at all as the fish was unable to run after the baitrunner had engaged. So a quick change of reel bodies was required as I am sure if I had hit a barbel it would had caused an issue. It appears that there could have been some grit it the rear drag system as after a play it seemed to work fine , though I was unaware that the tension that the runner is set at effects the drag once engaged, something I will remember in future.

Anyway I digress! The bomb was cast back into my target zone and the trap was set once more...roughly 30 minutes past before all hell broke out on the tranquil banks of the Avon. Through the morning chorus of birds singing and the odd sound of a Buzzard came a shout of "I'm in!", as my tip slammed round to 90 degrees and line started to strip quickly of my reel. By the time I had engaged the drag the fish had made it deep into the roots on the far bank, just as Dan arrived from his 50 metre early morning sprint! Though I felt that my chance had gone, a bit of movement downstream and side strain released the fish for the snags and into a small area of open water, which is very rare on this stretch of river! Perhaps the addition of the lead core might have helped me? Keeping the pressure on the fish I could see that it was a barbel but was not convinced that it was my target fish of 10lb!

Dan kindly jumped down to the waters edge and the fish after a couple of minutes was safely in the net. As Dan past the net to me I changed my mind on the fishes weight, but how big was it? What a cracking looking fish! We made our way back to my swim and to the safety of the unhooking matt, Dan collected his sling and the scales which held my fate! I unhooked the fish and slipped her into the sling, hoisting the sling up Dan kept its weight a secret for a couple of seconds but I noticed his face changed as he focused on the needle. Inviting me round we could not believe that the fish registered 10lb on the dot! Though it was my first ever double figure barbel, there is no way it could have been any closer!
Happy bunney- 10lb on the nail!

You cna see she had some disticntive features have a piece of top ray missing on her tail, and also she had two black spots on the top of her head. Beauty!

Pictures were taken and the fish was walked further downstream into the shallows and given tine to recover, until she blew some oxygen through her gills, reliving her exhaustion and giving her the energy back to allow her to return home. At this time the adrenaline was slowing down and I managed to compose myself to shake Dans hand and giving a shout of satisfaction that my target had been reached (sorry to the local residents that my have been still sleeping), another boxed ticked in my angling adventures!
I settled myself back down I changed my link and put the bomb back out. A while past before my next bite with the tip firstly moving back with a drop back before bending round. It was evident almost immediately that this was again not a barbel with a small chub of around 2lb surfacing quickly from under the cover and gliding effortlessly across the current and into my landing net.

By 11 o'clock the sun had risen and was shining directly into the area that I had focused on so I decided enough was enough and packed away. Overall I well stoked with catching the barbel and has shown me again why some people focus all their efforts on the truly beautiful fish.

Thanks to Dan for his help.
Tight Lines

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Trying for barbel on the Severn.....Hampton Loade

As barbel are a fish that has always alluded me I jumped at the chance when my mate asked my if I would like to join him on the River Severn at Hampton Loade. I have read articles about this stretch and seen Matt Hayes and Mick Brown fishing there I have never myself been there so it was all a new experience.

When we arrived no other cars were parked in the BAA car park which meant that we should have the pick of the pegs. As you can see from the pictures it is a great looking place to fish, in fact it felt like the type of place every one should fish to get the true feeling of what fishing is about. Not purely about the capture of fish but also the serenity of being in such beautiful surroundings relaxing.



My friend is in a lucky situation which enables him to get baits so we decided to take 6 pints of maggots, 4 pints of caster, 4 pints of hemp, a bag of 6mm hali pellets and some hali paste.....each!!! Would have cost a small fortune!

The tactics that we decided to settle on where to use large maggot feeders on both rods, and to alternated between using hemp with caster and maggot. With aim being to get the barbel feeding hard on small baits in the swim, hopefully dragging them from down stream.

I set up my two Shimano barbel rods with an small baitrunner 6000's filed with 10lb mainline and Drennan 2.5oz large feeders with a Korum quick change bead prior to a hook link of 8lb double strength mono, finished in a super specialist size 12 hook.

I cast my first rod 3/4 across and set it onto the rest as I was baiting my second rod the tip bounced back then hooped over..barbel???? a 2lb 10oz chub on my first cast.

Not bad.
I recast both rod and watched as the tip constantly flicked and tapped by the minnows struggling to get 4 maggots on a size 12 in their mouths.

Next tap i hit and reeled in a fish which is a first for me...a small trout which was a truly beautiful little fish with its red spots and amazing other colours.

After about 15 mins my tip bent and I hit into another better ! A chub of 3lb 3oz ! was I ever gonna catch one?

The next couple of hours went by , in which I failed to connect with any barbus barbus. But my mate did bank 2! (Git!) Though I did have a few small chub, dace and some specimen gonks!

After moving to the other side of where my friend was fishing I tried something new by casting upstream into deeper water and hoping that the weight would hold..which it did. With only an hour left on the clock before our planning finish time I was very anxious to score a barbel of this lovely river...

After about 10 minutes the BAA bailiff walked down the bank and asked for our day tickets which we gladly produced (though I always do have the correct licences there is still something slightly satisfying about having the correct paperwork when a bailiff asks...I always think they expect the worst?)

As I spoke to him about the tactics and swims that regulars adopt, my rod tip wrapped round and line started to spin of the baitrunner, I ran from only about 3 yards away hitting into the run, though I felt the fish it had hit a heavy weed bed by the time I had reached it. (Gutted). On retrieving my rig I was made aware of the true power of the barbel as it had straighten my super specialist hook.

I re-baited the rig and re-cast upstream into the deeper area that the last run had came.
Just 5 minutes later the tip dropped back and then hooped down, at last I had hit my first Severn barbel, though I did suspect it to be a chub!! In fact it was probably the smallest barbel in the river, weighing it at just 14oz! Much to my mates amusement as he questioned if it was a record breaking gudgeon!

With time running out to catch "a real one" I sat watching the tip, hitting and missing lots of small taps orange end. In some ways I was a bit over anxious to catch the barbel. It was not until 10 mins before the end that the rod ripped round to a run that was a definite proper barbel. I was aware that these fish fight hard but it was not until hooking one first hand that I believed it, it felt like a mixture between a very angry tench that wants to get into weed at all costs and a male carp of about 8lbs with behavioural issues!

After running me up and across the river I landed a fish of only 4lbs 7oz but I think I can call it a "proper barbel" and have broken my virginity!

Safely returned home

I can understand how people get hooked on these beautiful fish and only fish for them as matter of course. In such nice surroundings fishing for a fish that fights like Tyson.
A great day out, would advise everyone to give it a go!

Tight lines


Lawford beach casting???

With a little bit of time on my hands I decided to take trip to my local stretch of the Avon which "locals" call the beach, due the amount of kids that paddle and play in the shallows and parents that sunbath....proper classy!
On arrival there were non of the above so I had my choice of where to fish. Tackle wise I had taken very little, my old trust Diawa Tommy Pickering Whisker Connoisseur 13ft float rod, centre pin, stick float, size 16 hook and a loaf of bread...oh and some shot!
I opted for wading down stream and long trotting the float straight down in front of me, whilst introducing some bread mash. It was my aim to connect with chub and hopefully roach.
I stuck this out for about and hour but though I could see fish topping down the run I failed to attach to any. Which to be honest was disappointing as the swim looked great and I felt like I was fish well, with nicely presented bread flake.
I moved around the corner to a high banked bend in the river in which I could see minnows and small dace darting around so thought there might be larger fish in the vicinity. Well first run through my float dipped and a small chub was landed...not bad but I hoped for more.

A chub of around 3 pounds swam bold as brass straight down the swim towards me but continued on up stream...never to be seen again!
Second run through dip and a dace was banked...perhaps in for a good ending to a poor morning?

I did though see some some perch chasing some minnows so decided to go on the hunt for some worms...mole hill bashing! I did find one so cut it into two pieces and flicked my rig into the water. Dip, dip, and away. It took about three seconds for the first perch to take the worm, but I drooped it after disgorging straight back into its home! Only half a worm left to see what else lived in the swim. Again dip, dip and away the second perch took the bait. A pristine little fella that looked great in the mid afternoon sun.

After the perch I did manage a few other small dace but nothing to bore you anymore with.

A very enjoyable afternoon spent sitting on the beach!

Friday, 30 July 2010

Muchas Tincas for a ton up totarlus!

After Speaking with Dan about his impressive catch of perch and tench last week we decided to meet and have a bash on Thursday afternoon. Whilst it was my aim to catch some tench, Dan was going for his perch point for his challenge.

On arrival there were a few anglers on the causeway that had not really caught any fish to speak of, apart from on lad who had bagged up on the tench on the peg before the bridge at about 10 metres on the pole with a banded 6mm Hali pellet. To assist this he was feed a kinder pot of pellet laced ground bait after every fish. He said he had about 100lb of fish.

I set up on a peg that had just been vacated by another angler, who was moaning about not catching anything!, next to the reed bed after the bridge.
I set up two pole rigs, one at 10 metres with a Garbalino Dc13 0.8 float with an olivette to sink my bait quickly, the other as a margin rig again with the same float pattern but this time at a weight of 0.4 with styl leads spaced in a shirt button style.
The other two set ups were a method feeder rod and a power waggler set at about 10 ft of if the pole struggled.

I started by cupping in 5 orange balls of laced ground bait with various tench goodies at 10 metres and 3 at about 4 meters just in front of the reed bed.

The first hour started very slowly with only a couple of missed bites registered on the long pole swim. Due to this I changes over to the method to see if the fish were feeding at a distance. The next hour saw me land 7 tench on this swim, all of which were of a good stamp.

By this time Dan and also Keith J had arrived and joined me on the causeway sargeant fishing with garden snakes and red Margret's!

As time went by I had noticed more fish topping on the pole line so decided to come in with triple red Margret set about 1" over depth. the results came immediately with the float dipping slowly then the elastic flying out, the tench had moved in onto my bait at last.

Though I did continue to take to odd fish with my secret sausage rig......which if I told you what it was I would have to hunt your pets down!, but my pole continued to catch at regular intervals.

With the odd perch mixed in I fished until my float was no longer visible.....

Hauling the net I was very pleased to count out 29 nice tench and also 3lb 5oz of perch, Dan was very pleased with this as he caught 30 last week!!!!
All in all a very enjoyable night in which I am sure a ton of tincas were netted.

Sorry no photos as the light was dropping and I did not want to stress the fish. Dan and Keith did take a couple which they might send me to include or perhaps include in their blogs.

Keith I owe you a beer and a pound for your largest perch capture.......I do not count the one that got away!

Tight Lines

Friday, 25 June 2010

Not a fixed spool in sight!


I decided to spend some time cleaning up what I originally thought was an old knackered centre pin reel that my grandfather had left me many years ago amongst alot of very poor quality turned out to be an Allocks perfection "flick-em" which after 3 hours of polishing on cleaning looks great and spins for ever. I loaded it with some free line that I received some time ago and I was ready to try it out. I set-up a very simple small waggler, lift float, to which I tied a fine wire size 12. This would be great for fishing paste at my local pools, down the indie margin.

As there was alot of carp feeding off the surface on Friday night I also included my newly acquired fly rod to have some fun with. the set up is a 8/9 weight rod, with a large 7/9 weight reel, filled with 8 weight forward floating line, with a ten pound mono tippet. To which I tied an imitation dog biscuit fly.

I got to the pools and settled down on the peg just sitting on my unhooking mat as a box and put a large piece of paste onto the hook, this could not be easier!

After about 2 minutes the waggler popped up then slid away, i has hooked my first fish on the vintage pin! A bream of around 3lb was safely netted moments later, this was then followed by 5 more bream and a couple of hard fighting tincas. I have to say playing fish on the pin is very enjoyable the reel is very responsive and makes the fight alot more interactive than a fixed spool drag set up.

After taking a few smaller fish from this swim i decided to move to a corner peg with some lilly cover for my planned fly session later, as I did not want to miss out on fishing this peg.

Again i had a couple of bream and tench from under an over hanging willow to the left of the swim, all of which fell to a large piece a bread flake., felt good catching these on the combination of the pin and bread, very advanced!

As the sun dropped lower i began to introduce some mixers to my right to get the carp up and feeding, which they did after around 10 minutes which the small rudd drawing their attention to the free offerings. So out come the fly rod, which I have to see say I am far from competent at using in fact i felt like i have never fished before as I attempted to get my fly somewhere near the feeding carp. They seemed to take all of the freebies but once again not my fly, well at least for the first hour...then bingo I hooked it a nice fish on the edge of the lillies which went mental!

I have never caught a carp in this manner and was not aware that the rod handle plays such a pivotal role in general course fishing as the butt section rests on your forearm during the fight, were as obviously a fly rod does not have the and the pressure on your wrist is staggering. Perhaps as my technical understanding improves then so will my technique of fighting the fish.

The rod dealt with the fish very impressively and the drag on the reel can be set to ensure the fish is under tension but still able to run..loved it.

Reached for my net and a lovely mirror of 12lb 7oz was capture. Not bad a double for my fish carp on the fly!

I have to say I really enjoyed this unorthodox methods used during this season, as the simplicity the tackle used, as well as it heritage and new technical aspects gave me a lot of satisfaction and a wider understanding of angling in its purest form. Perhaps I do get drawn in by modern techniques and innovations when simply ways can be more enjoyable??

After studying some pics it would appear this fish is a friend of mine!

Tight lines - oh yeh hello Owen! (my nephew)

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Back on the pool...with camera

After a pleasing session last night I again returned to the Avon Hoe pool, with the same aim as the previous evening.
I selected a swim that is pegged just one before my favourite in between two willow trees that both over hang the water slightly giving a small amount of cover. I like this peg as it gives various options of marginal swims with no real snags under to prevent landing the larger fish.

I set my rigs to depth and got my "station" organised, whilst doing this I had a quick chat with Chris who was fishing the dam end who had caught a couple nice bream and tench on bread down the inside margin on a light rod with a centre pin, with his home crafted crow quill floats (which i must say look and work superbly well)

So first cast with a 6mm pellet,within 10 seconds my float had sunk and my number 11 elastic way running out across the pool....quickly i tried to ship out to stop a break up this early in the season, as I did so unfortunately I did not line my number 3 section up dead straight with my number 4 and managed to crack a section of about 5mm off the leading lip of the male 4 was a good job my torrents medication had cut in! I still was able to make the joint and after about 10 minutes the fish fish of the season was netted weighing in at 12lb 7oz, not bad for 10 seconds fishing!
I quickly took a picture and returned the carp to the next peg.
I feed in some more 1mm and 2mm fed pellets and re baited with a 6mm expander and drooped back into the margin. For the next hour or so i caught steadily netting 8 bream and a tench, with the add nice roach mixed in. This was a change from the previous evening as it was predominately tench instead of bream before whereas now the roles had been reversed.

As a change I decided to try my luck with a large piece of paste to see if I could get into the tincas instead of bramas! Once again my float drifted away and my elastic went on a trip across to the centre of the pool, carp on! A very long fight of around 50 minutes was finally bought to an end when I slipped the net under a nice mirror, In fact I was using a 18" Drennan Super Specialist and the fish had to bend to get in....mind your head!

I went up the bank and put the net onto the longer grass to cushion the fish, scales and sling ready....17lb 4oz. Not bad considering she has obviously recently "spawned out". I would have liked to have got a better picture of me with this fish as it is one of my largest on the pole, but Chris was fighting his own personal battle with a carp and the other anglers where way to far away! The fish was returned back to water as she slowly swam away.

This fish was follow with in 5 minutes by another a common of 8lb 9oz, this fish felt like a dream to land compared with the two fish previously.

I then decided to go back to fish a smaller pellet as to be honest fighting fish for hours in not really my style and was not what I had set out to do.
4mm expander on and float started to bob and dance, perhaps roach I its those little pixies! I landed 7 small crucain back to back in around 20 minutes which I was quite pleased with, as I find them beautiful and indeed a challenege to catch.

At around 12 o'clock I decided to pack away and view my catch, all in all I had 17 bream ranging between 2 and 4lb, four tench of around the same mark, 7 crucians, 25 roach and of course 37lb 4oz of carp so again a nice season inn which around 100lb of fish caught. Happy Days!

I aim to return tomorrow evening with a slightly different approach!
Tight Lines.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Avon Hoe pools for the first time this season

I have been a member at the Avon Hoe pools in Church Lawford for many years now and they still abide by the closed season so after my exploits on the river earlier in the week I decided to give the pools a go on Friday evening.
I fished a peg that I know quite well with a bed of 1mm and 2mm sinking feed pellets (Findlay) and the 4mm and 6mm expanders fished over the top, with some fishmeal paste also in tandem for the larger fish. I fed both margins to my right and left and a 'long' swim at 10 metres. All of my rigs where set about 1 inch over depth with the full bristle showing as alot of the time the bream to give line bites.
I started to my left as this for some reason is my preferred side, I do not know why...
Straight away I started to catch roach of about 6oz on the 4mm pellets with the odd skimmer mixed in up to about 1lb, in fact I quickly racked up about 6lb of silvers. i then decided to go onto the 6mm pellets, my float was in the water for no less than 30 seconds before sliding away to a lovely 3lb tench, which tested the number 9 hollow Preston elastic that i use for crucian fishing at Snitterfield to its full in fact it went out about 30 yards which surprised me!
This continued then for about an hour with both tench and bream taking the larger pellet, up to and around the 4lb mark, then my rhythm was interrupted, by a lump. The elastic controlled the fish at a distance for a good 45 minutes, before unfortunately giving way as went to net the large fish which as clearly over 20lbs in fact it would have been my largest carp caught from this venue and also on the pole. I was very disappointed not only to loose this fish but also due to the issue of the rig being still attached to the fish, though i realise that is would throw the barbless hook it still something that I hate to do , this is the reason why i fish a 2lb 6oz to ensure this does not happen,but unfortunately the elastic must have had a weak link as it gave way.
I had another top section set up with number 11 elastic so was quickly back in the water. I decided to try the paste instead of the pellet for the remainder of the season and caught tench and bream steadily until 9.30 and my local Chinese was calling. In the end I spent another 40 minutes playing a lovely common carp which tipped the scales at 14lb 4oz which with the additional of 12 tench that ranged for 2lb 8oz to 4lb 10oz, 7 bream between 2lb and 4lb 2oz, 6lb of mixed Roach, Rudd and skimmers, oh yeah and one brown goldfish and gudgeon!
All together after 5hrs I was very happy to have caught around 65lb of fish...not bad for my fish season back on the think some people were commenting on the fact that is not fishing well!
I will be back on the lake tomorrow this time I will take my camera, I know a blog with out pictures is boring! Will pack the pair next time...least it stopped the phone calls asking me when I was getting home! xx

Tight Lines

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Using my loaf!

With it being the opening day of the season, I decided to walk a stretch of local river in the search of some chub.
My tackle was extremely complex in total consisting of 5 pieces of kit, these being a rod, reel, line, size 8 hook and bread! oh yes and a landing net!
On arrival I walked the stretch and cleared a couple of likely spots in which I have seen fish rise throughout the close season. This is needed as the swims/pegs are very overgrown in fact it was alot taller and thicker than I had first predicted... After cutting a couple of pegs I tackled up amidst the rushes well out of site of any fish eyes.
Put reel on rod, take line through eyes, tie on a size 8 strong hook...simples!!
Once tackled up I feed some more pieces of bread and could see a couple of fish taking it confidently almost immediately. Time to have a go, nice large piece of flake under arm cast into the flow and straight away the larger of the two fish took the bait..only for me to strike to quickly and pull out of the fish, causing it to blow all of the bread that it had previous eaten into the flow, almost projectile! Bugger!
Not to be out done, I re-baited and started the procedure again it took them about ten minutes to come back into the swim and onto the free offerings. Right then try again this time I watched the smaller fish take the bread and sit motionless in the clear water with its thick white lips champing and gills blowing obviously eating the flake, instead of striking immediately I waited until the line began to tighten and as the fish started to move away, then struck and fish on! In fact the larger fish followed it during the fight almost all the way to the net, interesting as this could happen in cloudy water and I would never have seen it.
I was using a soft action float rod so with the 4 lb line was able to maneuver the fish quite quickly into the landing net. As I picked up the net I could see that the fish was larger than I had first though, and indeed in superb condition perhaps it had never been caught previously.
I was very pleased to see the scales register 3lb 13oz, not bad for a tiny bit of river and my second cast of the river season! With such complex tackle as well.

Big cake hole!

Due to disturbing the swim with netting, i walked 100 yards further downstream underneath under growth to a very nice swim that is at the end of patch of weed with a small shoal of chub sitting waiting for me that had moved onto the bread that the pair of chub upstream had misses,
Another bit of flake and cast number 3 , once again the bread was hit straight away...wait..wait.. on!
This time the fish swam straight towards the bank so it made things alot easier for me, net out fish number 2 in the bag!
This one one slightly smaller weighing in at 3lb 2oz but again another very pretty specimen. This took the total to 6lb 15oz!

As i returned the fish it pursed and then decided to disturb the whole swim by swimming straight along the river bed churning up all the silt off the bottom! This sending all the other fish off and turning the swim brown.
I tried for another 30 minutes but could not get them back onto the feed, the also tried my first swim but could only get one very small chub to show. this was slightly disappointing as though i am not in the fish challenge that a group of other bloggers such as Dan, Keith and Jeff compete in, I was aware of there target of 9lb 6oz for chub, then I could let Dan know! more fish and I might have cracked it. But still happy with 3 casts , 2 fish better strike rate than the England team!
I stopped of briefly at the club pools in Church Lawford for a chat with a couple of members and the bailiff before getting home in time for tea!
Session on pools this week me feels!
Tight lines.

Friday, 11 June 2010

College pool and it p***ed it down!

After fishing Snitters I decided to give college pool a go on Tuesday. I had decided to try and fish the "Polaris" slider float with a cage feeder into the centre of lake over a bed of corn and pellets with some fishmeal ground bait mixed to try and pull in and hold the bream that I know are in the pool. As well as this I took my pole for and inside line.

I arrived to an empty pool so walked around to see where the bream might be feeding. After ten minutes it became evident that they were all over with fish topping and producing feeding bubbles almost every where I stopped. So I decided to fish about half way down the right hand bank with a slightly overhanging tree situated.
I mixed my ground bait and participle first of all to ensure the bream had time to move onto the bait prior to the introduction of my hook bait. Using the Polaris float as my marker I balled in 5 oranges into the swim. also introducing a couple down the inside line at only 4 meters out, under the overhanging tree.
I baited the hook with corn and caster and introduced the rig to the baited area, to say it felt strange feeder fishing with a float was an understatement. With the water being so deep and not wanting to have a tight line going through the swim I saw it as my only real choice.
Whilst that settled I rigged my pole on the inside line...getting a huge surprise when I discovered I have to fish 8 metres to hand in order to hold bottom. Very weird way of fish the pole at just 4 metres out! To ensure that my bait found the depth I set up quite a heavy pole float at 1.5g with an olivette at 15 inches above my hook with two number 9 dropper shot.

On completing this my polaries float shot up nearly lifting completely out of the water, so I wound down to find my first bream of the had taken the bait. Looked like I way in for a good day at the point....

I quickly re-baited and returned to the abyss...where it remained for quite some time! There were fish feeding around my baited area but they just were not taking my bait....?

I decided to try the pole down the near edge and hit another bream straight away, not quite what I was expecting....
The rain then decided to test my resolve for the next three hours giving me an absolute soaking..I could be in a hot bath!

As the rain stopped I started to notice that there was still fish feeding on my baited area so to change I swapped the polaris set up for a method feeder in an attempt to try a different style of presentation. Once again after only 5 mins I had another bream, this was to be my last taken from the centre swim.

The next 3 bream all came from the pole swim, falling to soft expander pellets. Overall not to disappointed with 6 bream for over 30lbs of fish.

Over 30lb of bream.

Largest pair at 7lb 4oz and 6lb 8oz

After getting so wet sitting still I decided to have some fun with the angry little carp that live at each end of the lake. Every put in get one of the little carp to bite, they must be very hungry. But as they are so angry I would urge people to tackle alot heavier than normal as they do not like being hooked.

One of the angry little folk at about 5lb

Will look to try and do some canal carpin soon.

Monday, 31 May 2010

Snitterfield on the pixie hunt!

On Sunday morning I decided to get up and over to Snitterfield to target my favourite quarry, crucian carp. I have fished Snitterfield a lot over the years and feel that I have a reasonable understanding of the reservoir. It is like no other reservoir that I have fished quite often people simply fish way to far out when in fact the fish are right at your feet feeding off the concrete shelves edge.

I arrived at Snitterfield for about 6am and had the plan of fishing the top end where I have fish a lot or my favourite swim on the road bank....I was amazed when I drove down the road to find 7 anglers already fishing...not only the top but most of the top road pegs! Gutted...but I suppose if I ever fish a match on this water in the future I need to fish more than just the swims that I know and feel happy on. After looking at likely pegs I settled on one towards the end of the road side bank.

On setting up my tackle there were plenty of Roach and Rudd topping with occasional distinctive crucian mixed in between. Great fish in my swim! As well as the Great Crest Greeb.
I set up my pole rigs and plumbed up a line to my rig at about 4 metres and one to the left at 8 metres from the bank, into which I cupped a mixture of soft feed pellets, hemp and a few pinkies. By doing this I hoped the Crucians would follow the silvers onto the bed of feed that I had laid down.
In reserve I also set up my feeder rod (Shimano Beastmaster 9/11'') at its smaller length of just 9ft, I really like this little rod and would highly recommend it. Very strong for its weight and has a very nice soft action whilst still having the backbone to fight back hard. To this I rigged a Preston pellet feeder on a long 3lb hook link to a G point wide gape size 16 pellet hook pattern (very good expander pellet hooks) I set this up as I knew if the Crucians were not feeding the Bream might be??
Not long after Dan arrived and set up in the search of the "pixies" on the corner peg with a the overhanging tree.He had selected to fish a long float rod with a pole float "on the lift"
, with pellet and paste as his bait choices.
I started fishing on my inside line but it did not respond as I thought it usually I tried the 8 metre line...again not real activity..strange for Snitterfield. So in desperation I tried double pinkie on the inside line and got a Roach immediately, but I did not really want to do this as I came to the Ressie to target the golden "pixies". Still no response???? Something was not right, was I fishing ontop of weed, was my shotting pattern incorrect or hook link to heavy? Then when feeding some free expander's the answer became clear...I had messed up my hook baits by not pumping them properly the previous evening, this resulting in them floating or hanging in mid annoyed, massive waste of time and effort! I quickly pumped some new bait and checked my depths were correct by re-plumbing both swims.. The only fish really until now falling to the feeder rig at about 30 meters.

Brace of bream taken on the pellet feeder

Well it was like flicking a switch, bites came straight away but not from my quarry in fact in the whole morning I only managed to bag one! Taking 4 bream on the feeder and one on the inside accompanied by and a few nice roach on the inside was my total catch about 15lb tops...not as good as usual.

Few bars of silver
Whilst I spoke to Dan of my general disappointment with my haul for the morning, an angler from the top section of the lake spoke to us and it appeared that no body else had really caught all day so every cloud un all!

Best Brama of the day...only about 3lb 6oz

I will be back soon to give them another go.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Fishy Friends?

For those people who read this blog, I have the next week off work and am looking to go out to the following venues:

Snitterfield Res in search of crucians and perhaps silvers,
College Pool to target the bream on the slider and feeder,
Oxford Canal with silver bream in mind on probably the pole,
Perhaps a return visit to Napton for revenge on the tench!

Up for an adventure anywhere if anyone has room for me to join a jolly?

I am looking for folks to fish with as after meeting lots of good people at Ryton it has made me aware that fishing on my own can be a bit....urm..."boring" at times. By that I do not mean that I get bored by fishing, just would not mind a chat and a bit of company...sad I know.
If anyone fancies a run out then please let me know.
Cheers Andy

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Last Chance Saloon!

On Sunday morning I wanted to put the previous days nightmare behind me, so I decided to go to Ryton for a morning session to see if I could continue on from Friday with some tench.

The lake was empty at around 7.30 which really surprised me, so I walked around and set up on Morris' again. As Friday i baited a spot to my left on a clear patch and one in front of me at about 40 yards. But this time I replaced the cage feeder with a method feeder instead and used a much coarser ground bait mix with sardines for added fish.

Immediately I was getting line bites and small pick up but nothing really wanted to pick it up and run with it...very frustrating. This resulted in three small runs but no fish in the first 30 mins which is unusual for Ryton as usually it takes a while for the fish to move onto your baited area.

Dan arrived at about 8 and I waved and shouted over that had been alot of fish moving in and around Morris' and the log swim,even though the wind was blowing towards the island. Dan then came over and set up on the log swim fishing a method out in front of him,

Whilst we were talking a nice carp decided to jump and tail walk asking Dan to catch it!!! Not to look a gift horse in the mouth he put his rig on the spot and without 15mins had a nice common carp on the bank. We were convinced it was the same fish that jumped earlier.

It was a very quite couple of hours with fish moving but not really feeding hard, as the sun rose higher and the time ticked by I did think that it was going to be to blanks in to days! Nightmare!

Whilst talking to Dan in the vacant swim between us a very nice ghost carp of a estimated mid teens jumped at about 50 yards in front of me. I immediately reeled in and prepared my method to target this fish as I have not seen this fish on any other blogs previously, it was a cracker! Dan commented that I was spot on with my cast and the trap was set. It only took a matter of minutes before the alarm screamed and I was into the carp, as fast as it ran it was off! Gutted! We spoke about the fact that we thought that it was the fish that had just jumped, ironic that both Dan and my carp had jumped prior to taking our baits...I will be back ghosty!

I had decided the next casts were my last and re baited the methods back on to their spots and started to pack up (in a right strop!). As soon as I had put my landing net away my right hand alarm let out a series off bleeps and I was into a fish...but not a carp.

It is becoming increasing difficult to land fish through the growing weed at the moment and this was evident as a tench surfaced with a side salad attached to it! Dan came over and netted the fish for me which to my relief broke my blank!

We estimated the fish to be about 4lb 8oz or slightly heavier. Cheers for doing the honours Dan

Very grateful for that tench on my last cast.

Salad, with your tench?
Myself and Dan walked back towards the car park and had to stop at the disabled peg....only to see about 50 carp upto around 10lbs basking in the sun!!! Doe! That might be a reason for the lak of action other things on their minds?

When people say there is not many small carp in this pool it is simply not true!

Hopefully get back out later this week to have another crack before the weed takes to much of a strangely hold on the lake.

I did walk the pool on Tuesday evening and the overflow corner with the brushes was simply alive with spawning carp including two very bright koi! (golden ticket fish for a special prize I think)

Tight lines.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Napton Res

After looking at reports of great tench catches from Napton I decided to make my first visit on Saturday morning.

On arrival I read the board and discovered there was a match pegged all along the one side of the larger lake, and all of the pegs along "the causeway" were taken...where to fish? As the smaller lake had no one on it walked around to the far side next the over flow and set up, out of the wind and quite comfortable. The conditions were not ideal for tench fishing with crystal clear watch and bight sunlight but due to having left over bait from my earlier visit to Ryton I decided to give it a go.

In a similar vein to the previous evening i put two bed of bait down about 35 yards out on to which I put a cut down pop up with a cage feeder helicopter rig. After about an hour a couple of guys that had fished the causeway came round to have a chat and commented that the fishing was very poor, in fact the match was only won with a couple of fish...not great for such a prolific tench fishery! As I spoke to them about a whole range of fishy subjects my left hand rod ran away...only for me to miss it by a mile due to being on the bank away from my this point I joked that this would be my only run of the day!

The lads recommended that I moved to the causeway as they were the hot pegs on the fishery.(perhaps a mistake!) Though I fished the peg hard for the next 5 hours I failed to get another bite, the only positive being that no one else did either.

Perhaps the conditions were not right? Wind in the wrong direction, to sunny and clear water?

I will go back to this fishery as there must be some truth in the stories!

Better luck next time.

Tinca Time!!!

I decided to target the tench in Ryton instead of catching them whilst primarily targeting the carp on Friday evening.

On arrival I was very surprised to see only Colin fishing in the log pegs, such a nice evening and an empty fishery...

After walking around the lake I decided to set up on Morris', as it appeared that there were fish moving in the shallows. I had already set up two Avon rod with a helicopter style rig with a cage feeder, six inches of rig tube, swivel beads, braid beads and a short link that would house a cut pop up as bait. Prior to casting out my baited rig I decided to get some bait down with the aim being to set a sound bed of bait from the tincas t move onto for the evening.

My ground bait mix was quite basic with red crumb, sweetcorn, source pellets, pinkies and chopped worm. This I thought would do the trick for a few tench...

I baited two areas one to my left which looked like a clear space in the weed (which is getting very dense now) and a channel straight out in front of me at about 40 yards. On these areas i put 8 feeder fulls. I then introduced my baited rig.

After about 30 minutes I got my first run which screamed off very quickly, on hitting the fish I knew it was a carp by the way it continued to run to the right, to my disappointed it broke the hook link (8lb) after about 30 seconds. It seems when I aim for the carp with heavier tackle I catch tench and when I lighten my approach the carp move in!!! Never win!

It was not long until my alarm sounded on my left hand rod, after a short fight a tench of 4lb 2oz was safely netted, a round little lady who had not yet spawned.

It took 4 more casts with each rod, laying a bit more bait onto the two areas, and about an hour before my next run which again came from my left hand rod. This bite was very small as my bobbin kept on moving up and down about a inch so I decided to wind down and hit it to see. To my surprise a tench of 5lb 3oz was my reward, things looked like they were picking up on the baited area to my left as murky patches were appearing at regular intervals......

But, my next run came from my right hand rod only 10 mins later, this fish felt alot different....perhaps a not running hard enough....what about one of the big bream that occasionally definitely was not a fight that I was used to??

As the fish came closer I could see that it was a good size tench but why was the fight so strange? I had caught it by its caudal fin! I quickly removed the hook and let the fish rest in the net whilst I sorted the sling and scales. I was very happy to watch the scales register 7lb 10oz which minus the sling weighs in at 6lb 10oz my largest tench this season from Ryton this far.

I did tell Colin it was 7lb 10oz but then realised that I forgot about the sling....sorry Colin I was quite happy but not that large!

After getting pestered by the swans and signets I decided to pack up at about 9.00.

Three tench and a good run off a carp...quite happy

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Walking the towpath

Not out fishing until tomorrow night so...

I decided to take my little boxer pup on a walk along my local stretch of Oxford canal (which I only found at the weekend) to see if there was any fish showing or anyone fishing the stretch for that matter?

The canal looked very inviting with some very nice areas that I feel wouls surely hold fish. I walkied for about 2 miles checking all the overhangs and reeded areas but failed to see any movement or tail patterns of anything large, but there was alot of bubbling areas "down the track" so might well have a look at fishing the stretch over my hoilday at the end of the month!

Tomorrow I aim to have another play at Ryton with tench as my focus as a change to carp.
Will let you know how that goes...

Monday, 10 May 2010

Swan Lake

After a heavy Saturday night at my rugby club end of season awards evening my head to longer to clear than I had anticipated.
I arrived at the pool at about 4pm to find it very busy with people on Morris', the log, in the woods , on the point and in the sandbanks! So this left me "one" choice! I put my left hand rod into the middle of the lake with a zig set up and my right hand rod aimed towards the right hand feature.
After about an hour nothing had shown an interest in either rod so my approach changed. I decided to put bottom baits out straight an sit it out for a while.
After a short while, whilst chatting with Thad, my left had rod roared away into open water. At this point I thought I have hooked into a carp but the rod tip banged numerous times to give me the tell tail tinca signs, a fish of about 4lbs was landed shortly afterwards and returned quickly to the pool.
It was now time to put a bait into my favourite area in an evening session with a change of bait and an accurate cast my traps were set in anticipation.
Barry (the poacher) who had fished the bottom bay for the session stopped in for a chin wag and a chat about fishing some of the other Leamington waters etc, when my right hand rod let out a howl with both myself and Barry commenting that this was something big.....I ran to the rod which was screaming and hit the run!..........It was something big in fact I think the biggest thing that lives at the pool.....the cob swan!
With both myself and Barry wondering how it how picked up my bait and indeed how I was going to deal with it!,the swan shook his head violently and to my great relief spat my hook within seconds of picking it up....was I glad that we fish barbless!
I retrieved my rig complete and intact!
This I feel was lucky situation for the swan as Barry had rolled up his sleeves ready for a full on fight!....I was more concerned about how to pull in a swan from 100 metres in the air!
Very pleased to say that no damage to any party concerned happened.
After Barry had stopped laughing at me and cracking "Swan lake and Swan song" jokes I re-rigged and hoped for more luck.
I had one more run at about 8.45 but lost the fish on the strike .
Once more Ryton wins.......

Will hopefully get out sometime later this week for another evening session...might try the method as it seems to be taking some fish at the moment.


Saturday, 8 May 2010

My first reason to Blog!

After following many blogs, I have decided to do as the Romans do by joining in and creating a blog page myself.

It is my aim to blog about my experiences as an amateur angler with all my "ups and downs" along the way.

The reason I have started today is that at last I broke my "Curse of the carp".

As previously mentioned I have been following various anglers blogs which include Ryton Pool in their content, especially that of Roger Booths "Ryton Carp", I knew the lake held some very nice fish, not only in size but also in quality. So this season I decided to give them a go!

Over the past weeks I have banked quite a few nice tench up to 6lb and a mirror carp of 10lb 4oz (which was very pretty) but the larger specimens have alluded me.
Tinca of 5lb!

I have tried various rigs including chods,zigs, running leads and bolts, with and without back leads. Now at last I hope I have found a method that I feel works! (until I try something else!).

I have also been experimenting with baits ranging from bread, maggots, boilies, and pellets through to spicy sausage! Again , as with the rigs I hope now having caught I can stop experimenting and just concentrate on a tried and tested method and hopefully bag more fish.

So, less waffle!

After putting some time in last night, learning how to splice lead core and creating new rigs for today (spending more cash!) I woke earlier and had my fingers crossed for a good day. On arrival I was the only person on the lake so I decided to put my tackle down at peg and walk the lake to see if any fish were visibly feeding, with the water so clear large brown areas can be a good sign. With nothing shouting "Here I am, come and catch me!" I decided to fish where I had put my tackle,on a peg that I no has produced some nice fish recently.

I quickly set one rod quite close to "a feature" with a bottom bait and the other at distance with a zig rig set up.

The traps where set now just the wait......About 1hr 10 mins!

After contemplating my competence as an angler and the pros of fishing a well stocked venue, my right hand margin rod tore off, with the bobbin flying forward and the alarm sounding, this was not a tench!

I wounded down and hit into the fish,I had to slacken of the drag quickly as it replied by kiting hard to my left, which to my relief was above my other line. At this point I had big match nerves!

As it came closer in my heart sank as the fish hit very heavy blanket weed to my left and I thought it was snagged, and lost. Steady pressure thankfully saw it release and swim back towards me. Applying increasingly more drag I lifted a huge clump of weed with my back lead (which at the time was far from flying!(, by doing this it put me back in direct contact with the fish which slowly drifted in over the lip of my net and up to the float at the knuckle.

At last I had done it, after numerous weeks tallying up to probably 100hours fishing I had caught one of "Rytons' Living Jewels!"

I let the fish rest in the margins whilst I prepared the unhooking mat, zero the scales, get the camera and composed myself!

First for the weight, i estimated in my head upper teens and was very happy indeed when the scales read 19lb 9oz but realising the are weighing heavy a more realistic weight of 19lb 3oz could be safely recorded.

Pose for the camera!

With the camera on timer I managed to get a few shots of the fish before slowly returning her to the pool, one second of hesitation and then away she went!

Great reticulation in the scales.

I fished on until about 9 o'clock on this peg but moved round later to another area but no more fish came, but this did not matter!

I walked away very happy and after talking to Roger who was fishing the point, it appears that it could be one of the best fish caught thus far thus season, though I do think Roger caught the very same fish a couple of weeks ago at 19lb .

Sorry about the pics juggling a fish and setting the self timer was a nightmare.

If the blog is boring and poorly constructed then again sorry, but everyone starts some where!

Hopefully be back soon with more news.

Tight Lines...